- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Engineering
- Gender: F
- High School: North High
- Transfer Student: N
There are a lot of great things about KU. Basketball games definitely rank pretty high on the list. Allen Fieldhouse is amazing and the atmosphere is unbelieveable during a game. There are also people from all walks of life here, so its very easy to find someone you have something in common with and make friends. Being an engineering student, the majority of my friends are in my major or another engineering discipline and they understand exactly what you are going through, so its great to have people you can interact who have similar interests. If I could change anything about KU, it would be the advising system. I don't believe that my adviser has played much of a role in my education, and I know many other students (even outside of engineering) who feel the same way. I don't really notice the size of KU much anymore. It is a fairly large school (around 28,000 students), but one you get over the freshman shock of being in college, you really don't notice it anymore. Some classes are large, especially as a freshman and some upper level science classes (I'm afraid I can't speak much for anything outside of science/engineering), so that takes some getting used to. But once you get into the swing of things, the size isn't noticeable. Usually when I tell people I go to KU they ask how the basketball games are or if I know a basketball player, but not always. The reaction isn't usually much, they just ask the usual question of what year, what major are you. Most of my time on campus is spent in the engineering library studying, somewhere in the engineering building studying or in my dorm room studying. Most of my classes are concentrated within the engineering complex, so I don't see the rest of campus too much except for a few classes. There's a great spot to eat lunch at in the middle of campus that my friends and I will go to a few times a week (its busy though!). Lawrence is definitely a college town. There are lots of bars, some clubs, and its fairly easy to get around the being under 21 thing. There's also stuff to do on campus, such as bowling at the union. There's a big local music scene here. And you can always find a party if that's your thing. Students at KU have a lot of school pride. The past year in athletics has definitely helped that with football. The basketball team is always good, and students generally take pride in that.
Several of my professors do know my name. Its harder in larger classes, but if you talk to them enough and go to their office hours, they will eventually learn your name. An organic chemistry professor, Paul Hansen, knows a lot of students names and will always ask for yours, even though it might take him a while to remember it. A lot of times, professors will at least recognize you if you run into them outside of class, so that's a plus. Being involved certainly helps as well. I haven't really had a favorite class so far, although the most interesting I have taken is the History of World War 2 (which was perhaps so interesting because after 3 semesters of science/engineering, I finally got to take an elective). My least favorite class is physics. I don't believe the physics department here is very good. They seem to have trouble teaching down to students or aren't engaging at all. The amount of time students varies depends greatly on your major. I spend the majority of my time studying, when I'm not in class or meetings. I would say, on average, engineering students study about 4-5 hours a day, including weekends. It's often more. My professors in engineering are good though, they know my name, even though there are quite a few of us, and they are very, very helpful. I've gone to professors from past classes asking for recommendation letters are they are always very enthusiastic to help. I believe KU has appropriate academic rigor/requirements. Sometimes it seems like students can skate by in classes though, and I don't think thats fair. I feel the requirements to get into KU could be a little tougher, but not to Ivy League levels. It all depends on how much you are willing to put into it.
There are many different types of students here of all different races. There are several religious groups and it has never presented a problem in the time I've been here. There's a pretty strong/out-spoken LGBT population here, which is generally accepted because KU is more liberal that other schools in Kansas. The Queers & Allies group at KU has a pride week in April that gets to all areas of campus. Its never been a problem. On average, the students are from the same socio-economic background though. The richest county in Kansas is only 30 minutes away, so a lot of students from those towns come to KU because its close. Other students are by no means kept from succeeding at KU. There are many different groups for any kind of student to get involved in. There is also quite a bit of Greek life at KU, but there are things for people who don't want to do that. Most students wear jeans and t-shirts to class. Its very laid back. Some girls will dress up sometimes, and they don't look out of place at all. There's all different styles around KU. The political activity of students varies, some are very involved, some don't care, and others are in between. You can choose how much you want to get involved. With the upcoming presidential election, there are many student groups for each candidate. Some students even had the opportunity to campaign in other states over winter break for candidates. Its generally pretty liberal. Recently groups focusing on green technology and living have been gaining popularity.
The Best Things
The atmosphere, the learning, the people.
The Worst Things
Everything is expensive